Greenlee students’ writing recognized by Columbia Scholastic Press Association

CATEGORIES: News, Students
Five students, two female and three male, standing in the Iowa State Daily.
2017 Columbia Scholastic Press Gold Circle award winners, left to right: Emily Blobaum, Ben Visser, Luke Manderfeld, Austin Anderson and Danielle Gehr.

Five Greenlee School journalism and mass communication majors are the recipients of 2017 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle awards for work published by the Iowa State Daily Media Group during the 2016-17 school year.

Senior Luke Manderfeld and sophomore Danielle Gehr received first-place honors in the sports feature and news feature categories, respectively.

Manderfeld’s story, “A Mother’s Love,” details former Iowa State basketball player Deonte Burton’s relationship with his late mother, who died of breast cancer during his sophomore season at Marquette, and his decision to transfer to Iowa State. Manderfeld submitted drafts of the story for Senior Lecturer Deb Gibson’s Feature Writing (Jl MC 444) class and the third edition of the Iowa State Way Hoops news magazine.

“In a lot of classes, [instructors] are really good about meshing with the Daily because they know [publishing work in] the Daily is essential if you want to be a writer,” said Manderfeld, who served as the Daily’s sports editor when the story was written and is the editor of the Iowa State Way Grid Iron and Hoops publications this semester.

Gibson structures classroom experiences so they’re practice for future internships and jobs and encourages students to participate in student media. She requires drafts submitted for her classes be “organic and original work,” so writers experience the editing process in class.

“Certainly, it’s important that we talk about all kinds of writing techniques and strategies but it’s all about producing work that could be published at one time," Gibson said. "I should be teaching students how to write stories that someone else will look at and say, ‘I want our readers to be able to see this.’”

Gehr’s news feature, “This is Not America,” spotlighted two Iowa State students who were impacted by President Trump’s January 2017 executive order banning entry for 90 days by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.

“That’s what journalism is supposed to do … give people an understanding on how government and entities affect people,” said Mark Witherspoon, Iowa State Daily editorial adviser. “Our people do a really good job doing that in narrative storytelling mode.”

Junior Austin Anderson received second place for “A Legend in Lectures,” a personality profile highlighting Pat Miller’s illustrious 36-year career as director of the Iowa State Lectures Program. In addition to appearing in the Daily, a draft of Anderson’s story was also submitted for Lecturer Gary Sawyer’s Reporting and Writing for the Mass Media (Jl MC 201) class.

“What I try to teach students about writing profiles is to show people rather than tell people, and I think that’s what Austin’s story does really well,” Sawyer said.

CSPA also gave Certificates of Merit to seniors Emily Blobaum and Ben Visser. Blobaum was recognized in the general feature category for “Shattering Stigmas,” a multimedia package sharing the stories of two Iowa State students who have disabilities. Visser’s sports feature, “Escaping to Safety,” put a spotlight on former heavyweight wrestler Quean Smith’s journey from Detroit to Iowa State.

Founded in 1925, CSPA is an international student press association whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at colleges and universities through educational conferences, award programs and other initiatives.

Its Gold Circle Awards recognize superior work by student journalists working with either print or online media published at colleges, universities and secondary schools in the United States and abroad.

This year, the Daily submitted 30 individual entries, Witherspoon said. CSPA reported receiving 7,093 print news and magazine entries and 4,166 yearbook and digital media entries. A total of 1,080 winners were recognized across 178 individual categories.